Taking ResponsibilityThe more you take responsibility—for your emotions, your actions, your life the more you build self-esteem. It is not the person who upset you, it is that you became triggered—or that you lost facility. It is not that the cost of living is too high; it is that you are not generating enough income. It is not that someone treats you poorly; it is that you are ineffective at drawing appropriate boundaries. The locus of responsibility—and therefore power—is within you. Nothing is external. To blame someone is to give them tremendous power over you. When you forgo blame in favor of responsibility, you give up comfort, but you reap tremendous rewards—gaining power and building self-esteem. Sadly, I have even experienced people whose ego structure [development of self-esteem] is so insufficient that they will severely distort facts to make themselves look better—all unconsciously. That is, they are not even aware they are doing it. Their ego is so small and fragile it can not include possibilities that do not put them in the most positive light. They also cannot hear feedback. They take things personally that take great leaps of irrationality to do so. They will also have trouble telling the truth of their experience—they are too fearful. And they have a strong -- and at times desperate -- need for approval and acknowledgment from others.They are in egoic hell. Fortunately, the solution is simple. Not easy, but simple. And the more you do it the easier it gets and it is the only sure fire way to build your rational self-esteem; taking responsibility for your part in all things inter-personal. Seeing and examining your part—and ignoring the part the other person had to play in it. Blame serves no one. Responsibility gives you tremendous power.
“Do you want to be on the results side of the equation, or the excuses side of the equation? –Christopher HowardLet’s leave that for now and move to identification. When you identify with an aspect of your experience: possessions, reputation, job, relationship, etc. you will experience extreme fear and perhaps panic if you think it may be taken from you or lost. You will then make choices and take actions out of a fight-or-flight state. Likewise, if it actually is taken from you or lost to you, you will experience loss, perhaps confusion, pain, at times even grief. Often depression and despair are not far behind. Both of these emotional experiences: fear and loss are clear indicators of identification; a case of mistaken identity. Who you truly are is that which is experiencing all of that. Pure awareness. The Witness.
The ultimate spiritual practice is dis-identifying from that which you think is you.”—Ken WilberTaking a step back, let’s look at this in more practical terms. The Witness is simply another perceptual position. As we discussed in the Rapport Module, there are at least 3 that you want to become facile in navigating: self, other, observer; or first, second, and third person perceptual positions. Witness is akin to an associated observer. I like to think of the first three as concentric circles, and the Witness as an intersecting circle that crosses all three. Mastery of this and the other perceptual positions will allow you to experience massive internal facility, emotional freedom, and the ability to relate to and understand many and multiple perspectives—even if you do not agree with them. You will have a greater scope of resources emotionally. You will have greater flexibility mentally. You will bounce back from unexpected events far more rapidly, and you will react less and less and respond more and more. Ultimately, you will foster the kind of flexibility and fluidity necessary for the 21st Century Marketplace and frankly, be happier, physically healthier, and more productive. Your clients and prospects will sense the difference—even if they lack the linguistic structures to navigate it or explain it—and that will translate to results for you. So that is what it is and why it is important, and what it makes possible…but how, Jason? How? You have to learn the set of skills that will allow you to observe your experience. That is: to have your experience without your experience having you. Just as in learning a new language, immersion is best at first if you are serious about learning the skill. There is a practice that I recommend. As in all things I recommend to you, I have either done it, am doing it, or practice it continually. I have experienced this particular immersion six times now. It is a meditative practice that has been working for the purpose of teaching witnessing faculties for 2,500 years now. No matter your religion, spiritual beliefs, or lack thereof, you will reap many benefits and those around you will take notice. And soon you will realize how critical a skill it is indeed and how positive its results can be. Find out more about scheduling this kind of immersion for yourself HERE. And then you will truly be an Evolutionary professional.